A mathematical model to estimate the volume of grey water of pesticide mixtures

Lourival C. Paraíba, Ricardo A. A. Pazianotto, Alfredo J. B. Luiz, Aline H. N. Maia, Cláudio M. Jonsson


We propose a model to estimate the grey water footprint of crops by calculating the volume of water necessary to dilute pesticide mixtures reaching freshwaters. The model requires short-term toxicity data from aquatic organisms based on EC50 values, soil pesticide half-life and soil sorption coefficient values, and does not require maximum concentration limit acceptable in water. The lixiviation rate and runoff rate of each pesticide was estimated by attenuation factor and by Soilfug model, respectively. The usefulness of the proposed model was illustrated by estimating the volume of grey water required to dilute the seventeen most
widely used herbicides in the sugarcane crops in Brazil. These results establish the ranking position of each herbicide in the composition of the grey water footprint of mixture of herbicides. The rank of each herbicide could be used to create a label to be placed on the package of the pesticide, thus informing farmers about the volume of grey water per hectare due to the use of this herbicide.


water footprint, pesticide management; sugarcane; herbicide

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5540/03.2015.003.01.0049


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